Lockheed Martin: We Never Forget The Importance of What We're Doing or Who We're Doing It For
ORLANDO, Fla., 12-FEB-04 -- Lockheed Martin Vice President Orville Prins said today that 2003 was a year that made his company “keenly aware of what our systems mean to the men and women of the U.S. military --- they stake their lives on our products every day. Operations like those in the Middle East and around the world make us realize that we should never forget the importance of what we’re doing or who we’re doing it for.”
Speaking to reporters at the Air Force Association’s 2004 Air Warfare Symposium, Prins said that Lockheed Martin’s combat aircraft products – the F/A-22 Raptor, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-117 Nighthawk and the U-2S Dragon Lady – will be in the U.S. Air Force inventory for many years to come. They are being designed or upgraded for full integration with other manned and unmanned assets in the battle space environment.
“As the prime contractor for these ‘core’ U.S. Air Force combat aircraft, Lockheed Martin is in a unique position to support U.S. airpower over the next several decades,” said Prins. “We are taking advantage of every opportunity to share lessons learned, technology development, support concepts, sensors and other avionics systems among these aircraft. Our principal associate contractors are also fully involved with us in this effort to maximize opportunities for cross-program synergy. The result is increased mission effectiveness, supportability and affordability.”
Prins said that after an extraordinary amount of hard work by the joint Lockheed Martin/ Boeing/USAF Raptor team in 2003, the F/A-22 program is healthy, solid and on track for a successful entry into Initial Operational Testing & Evaluation (IOT&E), scheduled to begin later this spring. Avionics instability has been resolved. Production deliveries are on plan. The majority of outstanding Engineering, Manufacturing & Development (EMD) obligation is expected to be completed during 2004. And, the F/A-22 development team is focusing on modernization to fully exploit the Raptor’s stealth, speed and network centric integration capabilities Prins pointed out that while 2003 brought good news for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, it also presented some challenges. The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine began test runs last fall and is performing well. Technicians began cutting the first big structural parts for the airframe in November. Many of the F-35’s subsystems are operating and undergoing testing. And, the enormous job of staffing one of the biggest defense undertakings in history is right where the company thinks it should be at this time. On the other hand, technicians are working hard to reduce unwanted weight and drag as the process of maturing the airframe continues. The engineering design-and-testing plan is being revised to optimize weight reduction, without compromising the warfighting capability of the conventional takeoff and landing variant that will enter service with the U.S. Air Force. Bottom line: the program is on track to enter Critical Design Review in April for the conventional take off and landing variant.
When discussing the F-16, Prins noted that even though the aircraft has recently surpassed 25 years of production, the Fighting Falcon’s future is bright, with firm orders lasting well into this decade. “By taking on challenges with a passion for invention, Lockheed Martin has continually made improvements to every member of the F-16 family,” said Prins. “The Block 60, although not a stealthy aircraft, offers the most advanced capability of any operational fighter in the world today.” Prins also pointed out that a continuing production schedule ensures the program’s vitality, as well as offering a ready solution to force structure shortfalls.
Turning to the F-117, Prins said that the current contracting method called Total System Sustainment Partnership (TSSP) is sustaining the U.S. Air Force’s small fleet of 51 aircraft while reducing total ownership cost by greater than 10 percent per year. “This highly incentive contract allows Lockheed Martin to manage the support for the aircraft, decrease support cost and then pass the savings on to the customer,” said Prins. Recognized as a U.S. Air Force acquisition reform award winner, TSSP is being considered as a model for other platform candidates. In fact, the U-2S program is studying a performance-based logistics contract option.
Prins said that due to extensive upgrades and modifications over the last 10 years, the U-2S is a modern reconnaissance workhorse. It is able to be quickly retasked to respond to changing requirements. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U-2S collected 88 percent of all battlefield imagery.
In discussing the C-130J, Prins reinforced the fact that the aircraft acquired some “real-world” combat experience when the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force operated the ‘J’ during Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom with exceptional results. Prins reported that Lockheed Martin delivered 15 C-130Js on schedule in 2003 to both domestic and international customers. He also announced that reliability and maintainability demonstrations with the Royal Air Force over the past year provided higher maintenance performance statistics than ever predicted – mission availability rates of up to 95 percent.
Prins referred to the C-5 as a “national asset with proven performance”. He referenced numerous Air Force and industry studies that show there are many years of service remaining in the C-5 and modernization of the aircraft is the most cost-effective solution to preserving a robust national airlift capability. Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force have embarked on a two-phased approach that will deliver a 10-fold improvement in avionics reliability and equip each aircraft with new, proven commercial engines. “We are embracing the challenge of extending service life of this cargo workhorse,” said Prins. “Modernization of the C-5 simply makes sense.”
Prins discussed Lockheed Martin’s efforts in developing integrated warfare technology. “We have invested our own funds to support the Government’s network integration requirements,” he said. “Our efforts are primarily focused in two systems – the Mission Battle Management System (MBMS) and the Operational Battle Management System (OBMS). The two systems work together enabling dynamic battle management that can reduce timelines for planning, decision- making and execution from days and hours to minutes and seconds.” The systems were successfully tested in November with a Capstone event using live and simulated aircraft.
Finally, Prins described the Advanced Development Products division as the “front end” of the company’s business, including the technology development, integration and strategy for new weapon systems. “ADP is an incubator for developing and prototyping new concepts,” Prins explained. “Tomorrow’s systems will not be stand-alone; they must function as components of an integrated warfare system. We are developing architectural-based systems methodologies to meet the war fighters’ needs founded on the U.S. DOD architecture framework. We have key capabilities that we are applying to a range of concepts including low observable technologies, information technologies, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, survivability applications and high altitude operations. Much of our work is performed behind closed doors – it’s the nature of our business.”
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.